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Develop a cultural profile for one of the countries listed below: Indicate specific findings regarding religion, kinship, recreation, and other subsystems. Include the prevailing attitudes toward time, change, material factors, and individualism for the country you selected. Also include Hofstede’s findings regarding the four dimensions of culture: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, and individualism for the country you selected and compare it to the United States. Assume you are a U.S. manager of a subsidiary in the foreign country and explain how differences on these dimensions are likely to affect your management tasks. What suggestions do you have for dealing with these differences in the workplace?
The research project focuses on cultural subsystems such as religion, kinship, and recreation, as well as Mexico's prevailing perspectives regarding time, change, and material issues. It also contrasts Mexico with the United States in terms of Hofstede's findings on the four characteristics of culture: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, and individualism. The investigation discovers that Catholicism is the most widely practiced religion in Mexico and that kinship relationships are extremely important to many Mexicans. While bullfights are the most popular spectator sports in the country, popular sports like soccer, baseball, and jai-alai are also popular among locals. People in Mexico believe that time is limitless, and they are open to change and material circumstances since they value achievement. According to Hofstede's four cultural dimensions, Mexico, unlike the United States, has a high power distance, a strong propensity for avoiding uncertainty, and is a collectivist society. Although both countries have high levels of masculinity, masculinity is evident in the United States at both the individual and national levels. As the U.S. manager of a Mexican business, these discrepancies have a substantial impact on my managerial activities.
Cultural Profile of Mexico
Mexico is the third-largest country in Latin America, behind Brazil and Argentina. It is located in the south of North America. Both extremes of poverty and prosperity characterize the country. Due to its industrial basis, immense natural resources, and large population, it remains one of Latin America's most powerful economic and political forces. Around 18 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty, and school dropout rates, absenteeism, and grade repeat are major issues in poor regions (Icfdn, 2019). It has seen a series of economic booms as a result of these, which have resulted in a number of significant social advantages.
Religion, kinship, and recreation are the three main cultural subsystems in Mexico. Marriage, family, and gender roles and statuses are some of the other subsystems.
Mexico's major religion is Catholic, and the indigenous people of Mexico gladly accept its ideas and traditions. According to research, the people of Mexico accepted Catholicism following the Spanish invasion, and Catholic beliefs still saturate everyday life in Mexico. Furthermore, the Catholic Church has played an important and significant role in Mexican history. For example, the Virgin of Guadalupe, the country's patron saint, has a shrine in Mexico City that draws thousands of pilgrims from around the world. The Catholic calendar determines the most important religious festivals in Mexico, such as Easter. As a result, priests are the most important religious practitioners, officiating at events like as weddings, births, and conducting regular religious services.
Despite the fact that family members in Mexico are occasionally dispersed owing to foreign migration, kinship relationships are extremely important to many Mexicans. As a result, people actively seek out opportunities to assemble, such as religious events. At baptismal ceremonies, Mexicans also develop strong fictive kinship relationships through godfathers and mothers. They think that strong familial links are the source of support, trust, and solidarity, thus they activate these networks to achieve certain goals. For example, many newlywed couples reside with the husband's family until they can collect enough money to build their own home. Families in rural settings live near to one another and share common resources like land and water.
Football, or soccer as we know it in the United States, is the most popular pastime in Mexico. Football is a sport that people of all ages enjoy, whether they play or simply watch. When significant games are held, practically the entire county comes out to support their side.
In Mexico, marriage, family, and gender roles are all significant cultural components. Mexicans have the freedom to choose their partners when it comes to marriage. There are, however, rules relating to class and race that influence and sometimes limit people's marital choices. In Mexico, a marriage ceremony consists of two parts: legal registration and a religious wedding, which is usually performed by a priest due to Catholicism's dominance. As a result, monogamy is the only type of marriage permitted. Marriage is a particularly important ceremony in Mexico because of the reverence for kinship ties. The nuclear family is the most prevalent family unit, and the extended nuclear family is especially essential for poor families.
Time is viewed as fluid, relaxed, and round in Mexico, and as a result, people assume that time is limitless.
Mexicans are typically open to change, as their political participation demonstrates (Pastrana-Valls, 2017).
Mexico places a high value on success and performance, as well as material factors.
Hofstede’s Four Dimensions of Culture
Hofstede's four cultural dimensions are the most widely used cultural metrics since they define the most fundamental characteristics of civilizations all over the world.
This refers to the extent to which the poor and less powerful elements of society tolerate inequities among people and expect those in power to gain agreement from the rest of the population without needing to justify their actions.
Mexico is a hierarchical culture in which people accept a hierarchical system in which everyone has a position and hence no additional justification is required. As a result, the culture reflects fundamental inequities in which subordinates expect to be ruled by a benign autocrat.
The United States is a country with a low power distance and a proclivity to minimize social status inequalities. Because the American people do not support inequity, they want their leaders to justify their need for compliance.
This dimension is defined by how comfortable society is with ambiguity and uncertainty, and so it alludes to the level of stress that the unknown future poses.
Mexican culture is characterized by a strong desire to avoid uncertainty, and as a result, it adheres to strict rules of beliefs and customs. As a result, unorthodox thoughts and behaviors are generally frowned upon in the country.
Americans are open to new ideas and innovations, as well as willing to try new things in general. People are more accepting of other people's thoughts and ideas since the country completely respects freedom of expression.
This dimension indicates a society's materialism and achievement orientation.
Mexico is a male society, hence the concept of hard effort is valued. Assertiveness and decisiveness are demanded of leaders and managers, and performance is valued.
America has a strong masculinity drive that may be seen both on a personal and national level.
This dimension describes the degree to which society's members are interdependent. It is defined by how individuals or groups define their self-image.
Mexico is a collectivist society in general, which is reflected in its strong kinship bonds, which are marked by loyalty, trust, and solidarity.
The American society is loosely linked and has a short power distance; it is a country that values individualism. Managers want employees to be self-sufficient and initiative in the workplace, and Americans tend to pursue their own interests due to their significant geographic mobility.
In terms of Hofstede's four dimensions, there are considerable disparities between Mexico and the United States, and these are likely to effect my managerial tasks as a U.S. manager of a subsidiary in Mexico. For example, the cultural differences will affect how I relate with people, particularly employees from the two countries, and thus how I manage the subsidiary. Mexicans tend to avoid risky situations like new ideas and innovations, I may have difficulty implementing changes at the subsidiary, which might stymie my efforts to succeed. As a result, I'll have to rethink my management tactics and realign them with Mexican values.
Understanding cultural differences and finding a means to ensure organizational effectiveness are the greatest recommendations for dealing with these variations in the workplace. For example, to accommodate the current beliefs and attitudes, the organizational structure and management processes must be reorganized. Hiring personnel from both Mexico and the United States and training them on how to achieve corporate goals by working together is one example. While the culture of Mexico differs greatly from that of the United States, there are characteristics that can be included into the management process to fulfill the subsidiary's objectives.
Pastrana-Valls, A. (2017, February 2). Values, attitudes, and political participation in Mexico. Palabra Clave. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0122-82852018000300673.
Icfdn. “4 Barriers to Quality Education in Mexico.” International Community Foundation, 18 Oct. 2019, https://icfdn.org/barriers-quality-education-mexico/?gclid=CjwKCAjw9e6SBhB2EiwA5myr9pmYbguBu7aB5PSPg_rTrc2DU2t3SnJSkqmFiORXyCVxmZfml7Ni1RoCfe4QAvD_BwE.
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